BORIS Johnson has warned there is a “substantial risk” that the NHS will run out of intensive care beds as hospitals struggle to cope with a surge in Covid cases. 

It comes as the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said deaths won’t drop “for weeks” after the country reported a record 1,564 fatalities yesterday.

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Boris warns NHS running out of ICU beds as children’s wards filling up with adults and deaths ‘won’t drop for weeks’

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Paramedics unload a patient from an ambulance outside the Royal London Hospital in LondonCredit: PA:Press Association
Boris warns NHS running out of ICU beds as children’s wards filling up with adults and deaths ‘won’t drop for weeks’

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Boris Johnson has warned there is a “substantial risk” that the NHS will run out of intensive care bedsCredit: Universal News & Sport (Europe)
Boris warns NHS running out of ICU beds as children’s wards filling up with adults and deaths ‘won’t drop for weeks’

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A total of 84,767 people have died of the virus during the pandemic but the number of deaths involving coronavirus could be higher than 100,000, according to Press Association.

This total is made up of 93,418 UK deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, plus a further 7,742 that are known to have occurred since the latest registration data was published.

With a record 32,689 Covid patients in hospital, the PM warned the situation was “very, very tough” and the strain on medics was “colossal”. 

In a stark warning to MPs, Mr Johnson said: “If you asked me, when do we think that the ICU [intensive care unit] capacity is likely to be overtopped, I can't give you a prediction for that – but all I can say is that the risk is very substantial.

“We have to keep the pressure off the NHS and the only way to do that is to follow the current lockdown.”

In-patient numbers are currently up 18 per cent over the week, and are 70 per cent higher than the peak of the first wave in April, The Independent reports. 

Boris warns NHS running out of ICU beds as children’s wards filling up with adults and deaths ‘won’t drop for weeks’

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Staff at St Mary's Hospital in Central London are using children's wards to house a surge in ICU casesCredit: Sky News
Boris warns NHS running out of ICU beds as children’s wards filling up with adults and deaths ‘won’t drop for weeks’

 

Meanwhile, Sir Patrick Vallance said the UK was in for a “grim period” – with daily deaths likely to continue to be high. 

He told ITV’s Peston: “I’m afraid we’re in a period of high death numbers that’s going to carry on for some weeks, it’s not going to come down quickly, even if the measures that are in place now start to reduce the infection numbers. 

“So we’re in for a pretty grim period, I’m afraid.”

The three deadliest days of the pandemic have all been recorded this month. But deaths usually lag behind cases, meaning the current rate of fatalities is unlikely to drop until a fortnight after cases fall.

Sir Patrick said there were signs that lockdown was curbing transmission but warned “it may be that we need more on top of this at some point”. 

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Boris Johnson says risk of ICU capacity in NHS being overtopped due to Covid-19 is ‘very substantial’

BORIS Johnson has warned there is a “substantial risk” that the NHS will run out of intensive care beds as hospitals struggle to cope with a surge in Covid cases.